Jun 14, 2015 12:34 AM
Gators' 11-run inning ties record, fuels 15-3 win over Miami
The Associated Press
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Florida is the hottest team in college baseball right now, and not even playing in the stadium where the best offenses have been shut down could disrupt the Gators' mojo.
The Gators tied a College World Series record with an 11-run fourth inning on their way to a 15-3 victory over Miami on Saturday night, the Hurricanes' most lopsided loss in their long and proud postseason history.
The outburst broke open a surprisingly sloppy game and ended with Florida having turned a 2-1 deficit into a 10-run lead on nine hits off Andrew Suarez and two relievers.
"We came out a little nervous, and I certainly did not see an 11-run inning in the fourth," Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan said. "I can't say enough about our approach there. We stayed in the middle of the field. The first few innings we tried to do too much. The big inning certainly was the difference."
Florida (50-16) advanced to a Bracket 1 winners game against Virginia on Monday night. Miami (49-16) and Arkansas will play an elimination game that afternoon.
Logan Shore (10-6) scattered seven hits and struck out six in five innings for the win. Suarez (9-2) took the loss in a 3 1/3-inning outing that matched his second shortest of the season.
This was the 241st or 242nd meeting between Florida and Miami the schools don't agree on the number but the first at the CWS. The Gators won two of three against Miami in February and 20 of the last 25.
Florida is on a nation-best 10-game win streak since losing its opener in the Southeastern Conference tournament, and is batting .338 since the regular season. The Gators have outscored their six NCAA tournament opponents 68-15, and their 15 runs Saturday were the most in the CWS since Fresno State hung 19 on Georgia in 2008.
The Gators made the most of their 12 singles, two doubles, six walks and two hit batsmen.
"We didn't try for the big at-bat or to hit it out," Josh Tobias said. "We tried to ground out at-bats, keep it up the middle, take walks and add on with each at-bat, string them together."
Miami, making its 24th appearance in the CWS and in the NCAA tournament for a 43rd straight year, hadn't been beaten so thoroughly in a postseason game losing 16-5 to Florida in the 2009 regionals.
"Fourth inning says everything about the game," Hurricanes coach Jim Morris said. "Everything that could go wrong went wrong. Ten runs are pretty difficult to come back from. Beforehand I mentioned that if you give Florida an opportunity and put them on base, they'll get after you. That's exactly what happened."
People in college baseball have been waiting for an uptick in offense since the CWS moved to TD Ameritrade Park in 2011. The signs were positive in the first two games played with the new flat-seam ball.
Virginia and Arkansas combined for two home runs in Saturday's first game. Last year's 16-game total was three.
Florida became only the fourth team in 61 CWS games at the stadium and first in 27 games since 2013 to score 10 or more runs. Per-team scoring bottomed out at three runs a game the last two years.
Miami capitalized on a couple uncharacteristic mistakes by the nation's No. 1 defensive team to get out to a 2-0 lead.
Suarez balked in a run in the Florida third and couldn't get out of the fourth as the Gators rapped hit after hit following shortstop Brandon Lopez's fielding and throwing errors on the same play put runners at second and third .
Sam Abrams, superb in super regionals against VCU, couldn't stop the onslaught, and neither could Danny Garcia.
Florida sent 15 batters to the plate in the 40-minute inning, with Peter Alonso driving in three runs and Tobias and JJ Schwartz two apiece. It was the most runs scored in an inning at the CWS since Stanford had an 11-run ninth against Florida State in 2008 at the old Rosenblatt Stadium.
"It was a long inning," Lopez said. "I was trying to get out of the inning after what happened, put it behind me and keep going."
Instead, the Gators kept going.